For the Reporter
An Auburn man is among five people who have been charged federally in separate mail theft cases brought in a joint effort with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to combat identity theft, U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes said Thursday.
Dennie Deng, 27, is scheduled for trial in March on a four-count indictment, charging him with bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Deng allegedly used stolen checks to inflate the balance of his bank account and then withdrew cash. In some instances, he altered the stolen checks to further increase the amount of money fraudulently deposited in his account.
Four others from the Puget Sound area face charges stemming from bank fraud, access device fraud, aggravated identity theft and possession of stolen mail.
Mail and package theft is a heightened problem in the busy holiday shipping season, federal authorities said. These cases have taken some of the worst offenders off the street over the last few months, they said. Some of those charged have already entered guilty pleas, and face mandatory minimum sentences for aggravated identity theft.
“Over the last several months we have worked with investigators from the Postal Inspection Service to federally prosecute mail thieves who repeatedly steal from homes, apartment buildings and other locations around Western Washington,” Hayes said. “These cases should serve as a warning that there are significant consequences for those who steal mail and victimize so many people.”